ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - In July of 2015, Officer William Anderson of the Orlando Police Department was patrolling when he pulled over a vehicle near the intersection of Kirkland and Vineland roads. Two teenagers were inside.
Officer Anderson was investigating a shooting and pulled over a vehicle with Edward Kelty and Angel Nieves inside. As Anderson drew his weapon, the driver stepped on the gas, hitting and running over Anderson. Anderson managed to get off two shots, before the car sped away.
Now, ten months after the incident, Anderson is still recovering from his injuries. Anderson told FOX 35’s Sonni Abatta that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and has difficulty walking and doing simple math and recalling words.
Wife Jessica Anderson says she recalls the night it happened. “They came to my door at 3 in the morning. It's the wife of a police officer's worst nightmare … our whole world has been turned upside down over a traffic stop over 30 seconds. Our whole world has been completely changed in a way we never anticipated.”
Doctors have performed two spinal cord surgeries on Anderson, and he continues to receive physical and speech therapy. As for what he thinks about that night, when asked about it, Anderson says, “I guess I can’t get an answer, until I talk to him.” He explained, “I remember up until I fired my weapon, and that was it.”
Anderson also gets help from a Labrador service dog, named Polo, who the family got just a month before his accident, to help detect seizures in his nearly two-year-old daughter, Abby. Polo helps Anderson stand, fetches things for him, picks up his leash, opens doors and offers emotional support to the family.
The Andersons say they are grateful for the support they have gotten not only from the Orlando Police Department, but also from agencies everywhere. “That’s the great reality of being a law enforcement officer. It comes with a family of hundreds of people who not only wear same uniform as him but other agencies,” Jessica said.
As for Officer Anderson, he says he’s not ruling out the possibility of serving on the force again. “Once a cop, always a cop.”
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